The ultimate objective of any scientific pursuit is to improve quality of life of people, said Shri M. C. Bhandare, H.E. Governor of Odisha at the valedictory ceremony of the 99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT University on January 7. “Despite tremendous progress in the field there is a sizeable section who struggle to meet basic needs like food, shelter and healthcare,” he observed.
Asserting that modern research should address these problems, he said, science must have innovativeness, foresight and vision to make it a boon for the society. Quoting Nehru, he said, “Science alone can solve the problem of hunger and poverty, insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and dreading customs.” He reminded of country’s rich legacy of science from Aryabhatta to Srinivasa Ramanujam and from CV Raman to APJ Abdul Kalam.
It was a great honour for Odisha to host the 99th Indian Science Congress after a gap of 34 years, he said, while expressing gratitude to KIIT, NISER and Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS and Chief Patron, 99th ISC for making it happen with elegance and style. The Governor conferred Pride of India Expo Award to 14 organisations in seven different categories. While NALCO bagged the award for most innovative expo, DRDO was adjudged exhibitor of the year. Best poster awards were also conferred to 28 presenters in 14 different sections of the Science Congress.
Six winners of National level Essay and Quiz competition (senior and junior level) were also awarded. The senior category topper received a prize money of Rs. 5 lakh, while topper in junior category received Rs. 4 lakh.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. P. K. Patasani, Hon’ble MP, Bhubaneswar commended KIIT and Dr. Samanta for excellent organization of this mega event. “The state is proud of him,” he added.
The 99th ISC was attended by a record 18000 delegates. Total number of delegates from abroad was 250, said Prof. Geetha Bali, General President, while informing that the session saw 35 special lectures and 30 plenary sessions and panel discussions. There was a healthy participation from women scientists in the science congress, which had ‘Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation – Role of Women’ as its theme.
Crediting KIIT for remarkable conduct of the event, she remarked, “There was nothing where we felt something could be done in a better way.” Ambience at KIIT was very conducive and all comforts were provided, she said. Terming 99th ISC a very satisfying experience, she expressed happiness that all deliberations were vibrant. She also thanked NISER, which was academic partner of KIIT in hosting the event.
Centenary session of the science congress is scheduled to be held in Kolkata, with the Prime Minister as its General President. The Prime Minister’s emissary Dr. B. Hari Gopal of Department of Science and Technology received the ceremonial Vigyan Jyot from outgoing General President, Prof. Bali.
Dr. Samanta expressed gratitude to Prof. Bali and all functionaries of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) for their cooperation in making the event a grand success. Prof. T. Ramasami,, Secretary, DST delivered the welcome address. Among others, Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, VC, KIIT, Dr. Vijay Laxmi Saxena, General Secretary (Scientific Affairs), 99th ISC, Dr. Manoj Kumar Chakraborti, General Secretary (Membership Affairs), Dr. A. K. De, Executive Secretary, Dr. N. B. Basu, Treasurer and Dr. A. K. Nayak, Registrar, NISER were present on the occasion.
Valedictory ceremony of Children's Science Congress
Science is secular and there should be nothing as woman scientist, opined Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Women and Child Development Department of Government of Odisha, Aarti Ahuja while speaking at the valedictory ceremony of the first Women's Science Congress organized as a part of the 99th Indian Science Congress. Many great women scientists have overcome obstacles to reach the pinnacle of success, he said.
Ahuja lamented that while in the 80s forty percent work force in IT sector constituted of women it has come down drastically, she said. Ahuja drew the attention of the audience through an example as to how an ex-President of Harvard University was removed from his post for making a comment that women did not have an aptitude for mathematics.
Since Science demands working in a set-up and the likes most women do not prefer it because women prefer sedentary jobs and that is the reason why there are less women scientists, she said.
Dr Vijay Laxmi Saxena, General secretary, Scientific Affairs of ISCA delivered the welcome address, while Dr Vinita Sharma from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India said that the efforts of past two and half decades for inculcating science in women were yielding results now. Since the schemes relating to women are directly monitored by the Prime Minister, there has been a sea change. She expressed the confidence that the science would come to the rescue of women in rural India. She narrated a story on how Prime Minister who attended the Convocation of Santiniketan found 99 percent of the medals won by girls. "He immediately sought to know the number of women in all the scientific labs in the nation and it was found out to be a mere 14 percent".
Describing the theory of "leaky pipeline" which germinates when a woman gets married and shoulders responsibility of the household, Dr Sharma said mentorship was required by these women. The government-sponsored schemes also became ways to nurture women in science. The availability of the schemes has widened with the age to grab them increasing from 50 to 60 years.
"Plethora of projects are being taken in rural areas. Among others, training women in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for one year is a successful fellowship program", she added besides emphasizing on the role of mentors and urged the scientists to mentor at least five women in their life. The General President Prof. Geetha Bali spoke about some recommendations, which could be implemented in R&D and other educational institutions. Among others Dr Veena Goswami also spoke.
In another important event, the National Children Science Congress also was concluded on Friday. The five-day annual Science extravaganza witnessed some research work, projects and participation which were widely appreciated by the scientists and visitors.Ninety six students across the country this year came with appraisal of their achievement.
They are those young and innovative minds who embarked on a journey to work with scientific temperament. They received children scientist award at the valedictory function of Children Science Congress from Dr Geetha Bali, General President of ISC, Mr. G.P. Singh, Dr. R. N. Ray, Hemant Dwivedi fromm UNFPA, Dharitri Patnaik from Bernard van Leer Foundation and Dr. B.B. Kar. It was a memorable experience for them as they got opportunities to meet the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam besides eminent scientists and Nobel laureates.
The national event is the culmination of year long activities. The students who made innovative projects were awarded at the valedictory function. Besides, 10 students who won essay competition were given Infosys-ISCA Travel award.
National Science Film Festival Concludes
The two-day National science film festival , Rastriya Vigyan Chalchitra Mela , as a part of the 99th Indian Science Congress came to an end today. Films from across the country in the categories of documentary on science, health, education, awareness and animation were screened. The animation film 'I love you human' by M Rajkumar, with the message of peace, won applause of the audience. The bitter war between the Tamils and Singhalese inspired him to make the film.
The film, 'To be a smoker or not to be a smoker' made by a group of class nine students of Indus International School, was also appreciated by the audience. These students were on the anti-smoking campaigns within their cities beside sponsoring community education to the terminally ill patients' children. 'Thalassemia, Ek Chunoti' directed by Manisha Sharma exhibited the plight of the child patients of Thalassemia Major, a genetic blood disorder. It depicted how it passes to an unborn child from the parents and discussed about the precautionary measures to prevent it.
Among other films, 'The Dream Fulfilled' by Satish Pande focused on Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, its making and challenges faced by the engineers who had completed the Metro train within four and half years and as well to encourage the future engineers in the upcoming projects. Some of the other films are Refraction by Tabish Anwar, Magnet Part –I by Deepak Verma, Home our garden of Eden by Suresh Elamon, The Darwin Puzzle by Arjun Bhagat, Hatyare Kee Hatya, The story of vaccines by Seema Murlidhara and India's targeted drug delivery system, Fungisome by Dr. Matiuar Rahman were also screened.
KIITians design economic,
eco-friendly electric vehicle
Four students of engineering stream of KIIT University, Bhubaneswar have developed a three-wheel rechargeable (battery operated) vehicle of Rs 1 lakh. The vehicle can be customized for different requirements. It has been developed completely in-house with the use of KIIT infrastructure. For the first time it is exhibited in the science expo at 99th Indian Science Congress.
Indian vehicle industry has embraced the new concept of electric vehicles that are very popular in the developed countries like America, Japan and China. The students claimed that with the rising cost of fuel at international and national level and at a time when the increasing levels of pollution and congestion are running high, the electrically charged vehicle will surely come as a solution for many.
Dipam Chaterjee, Harsh Shyam, Akhilesh Devangam of Mechanical Engineering and Pratik Patnaik of Electric Engineering have made the economic and eco-friendly vehicle. They said, "The conceptualization of the vehicle began last year. We have decided to develop it further and will make a fully developed prototype." Explaining about the features of three wheeled vehicle, Dipam said, "The area below the seat has been designed to carry luggage. The vehicle can run on the roads with an ease. It is the only electric vehicle that has gear box. Popular eco-friendly vehicles like YO–bikes also lack this feature. But this vehicle involves gear and several other mechanisms in an electric set-up."
Pratik informed the vehicle's motor controller and battery charging devices have been self designed. "For the exterior body we have used auto rickshaw because we wanted to test the project first. It takes care of pollution problems because of its electrical set up. The features of this vehicle will surely attract people, especially those who prefer eco-friendly vehicles."
Harsh said, "Electric cars are considered as the future driving technology all over the world. High cost of fuel, large carbon emissions and high running cost have set a widespread platform for electric cars. We are confident that our invention will benefit the society at large."
It will take at least one more year to fully develop the electric vehicle. However, the students are confident that even the final model will not cost them more than Rs1.5 lakh.
Strategic systems provide a minimum deterrence against external
threats - Dr. Tessy Thomas
Strategic system plays a vital role in the countries defence and to provide a minimum deterrence against external threats, said Project Director of Advance Systems Laboratory (ASL) Dr. Tessy Thomas. Delivering a public lecture at the Women's Science Congress, she said basic design drivers for a strategic missile system are many, the primary being the range capability, accuracy, survivability, mobility and anti-ballistic defence capability, which forms the design specifications.
"Missile system can be broadly classified into Strategic and Tactical Systems. The missile programme of DRDO has a wide reach ranging from a few kilometer 'Nag' missile to thousands of kilometer 'Agni' missile systems," she said. The 'missile woman of India' described a new guidance scheme that was designed and evolved for Agni solid propelled system, which is a technology breakthrough in establishing long range explicit guidance system with high accuracy. This guidance scheme is used in all the Agni series.
"Mission design of a strategic missile is the most challenging field which includes the mission sequencing. The main features of mission sequencing are event based decision making, backup for critical events and software interlocks between events," the distinguished scientist maintained. Design of strategic missions, Thomas said, is a confluence of scientific and mathematical formulations, statistical techniques, engineering concepts, numerical simulations and threat analysis, involving a tremendous effort of multi disciplinary optimization at all phases of design. Mission design culminates from many design conciliations by careful optimizations of configuration design, to achieve a final system that meets the overall system requirements," she told.
The ASL project director who is also the Project Director for 3000-km plus range Agni-IV nuclear-capable missile further said on ground the performance prediction is essentially done before flight in six degree of freedom (6-DoF) trajectory simulation. "Missile trajectory is simulated in a 6-DoF environment and performance of the system such as flight loads, aerodynamic and wind dispersions are evaluated for design of flight control systems. This simulation is also used to interpret the flight data and reconstruct the flight events by plugging in the flight data," Thomas added.
Broccoli can prevent cancer
The dreaded disease cancer is preventable if the intake of broccoli, which is the richest anti-oxidant, nuts and holy basils, is maintained, said Dr Ashok Kumar, Vice Chancellor of CSIM University of Kanpur opined while delivering a Special Lecture on 'Diet and Cancer Prevention'. "Fruits and vegetables have photochemical which protect against cancer and green vegetables have anti-oxidants which are good for the body, he said. He extensively spoke about the different promoters of cancer which are high fat diets, high calorie intake, obesity and high protein diet.
Over boiling of tea or use of milk in tea should be avoided as it has inhibitory effect which is quite dangerous, hence people should drink Green tea, advised Dr. Kumar. "Walking everyday for more than 20minutes should be made a compulsory part of the routine", pointed out Kumar. It is an established fact that scientifically, socially and mythologically ,vegetables are good for the health but it is a big question in our country that how safe are these vegetable, he wondered. Cancer can never die out in the society as it happens due to environmental factors. "The main causes of cancer are genes, environment and diet of a person. It is unfortunate that the exact identification of process of Cancer is still unknown", said Kumar.
He further threw light on how cancer cells were different from normal cells. Cancer cells do not divide and continue to grow and results in the damage of DNA, he added.
He explained the two chemicals of cancer which are directly entering carcogene and indirect carcogene. "The three stages of Cancer - initiation, promotion and progress and the two types of tumors, which develop in the body due to Cancer – the maligned tumor, which is very dangerous as they keep growing and spread all over the body", said Kumar. The second one is beningn tumor which stays at one place and hence is less dangerous.
In his talk he said about different types of cancer named Carcinomas (most common), Sarcoma, Leukemia and Lymphomas. He focused on the cancer development factors which are genetic, immune, environmental, physical activity and dietary factors which involve cancer initiators, cancer promoters and protection. "If a person has cancer then it is not necessary that the offspring will also have cancer but yes, he will be more susceptible to it. People with healthy lifestyle and vigorous physical activity have the lowest risk of colon cancer", Kumar said. He laid emphasis on different initiators of Cancer which are pesticides, food additives, alcohol combined with smoking, food preparatory methods (like barb-e-que , oiling, grilling).
If you want change to happen, stick to the rules - Founder Director of Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environment Education (CEE) Dr. Kartikey V. Sarabhai
Environment and sustainable development are two sides of a same coin. So educating the public for strengthening environmental management and conservation is an important part of the whole system of sustainable development, Founder Director of Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environment Education (CEE) Dr. Kartikey V. Sarabhai said while speaking at Panel Discussion on 'Education for Sustainable Development' at the 99th Indian Science Congress (ISC) on January 6. He advocated for the change in the approach of human behaviour and also in the existing educational system. Dr. Sarabhai said environment in India faces several challenges and there are so many challenges for environmental educators too. "There is a need to change the mindset of the people. If you want to change, change the feeling of the people and let them understand why you do this", he maintained.
Citing examples like how Indian do not mind throwing things to the streets for the sake of keeping their own house clean, he said, "If you want change to happen, stick to the rules". "Literacy is not about reading and writing; it is more than that. It is an integration of ways of thinking, talking, interacting, in addition to reading and writing. Language plays very important role to change the perception of the people," Dr. Sarabhai said while pointing out that language plays very important role to change the perception of the people.
Finding problem in the approach of teaching, he said "Existing educational system should also undergo change, particularly the style of teaching for the sustainable development. Text book is not the final authority, think beyond". Suggesting a teaching pattern for the e-age teachers the CEE director said the environment teacher has to say to the students - I do not know, let us find together while replying to their queries instead of asking them to just quote from the textbooks.
"There should be a paradigm change in the role of a teacher who should learn first rather than teaching and empower rather than socialising. A teacher has to think global and yet local specific and create an environment where a student can acquire skills and learn," he added. Later Dr. Sarabhai interacted with the audience and thanked ISCA for organising the discussion.
3R stressed for animal alternatives in teaching and testing
True humanity distinguishes humans from all other species. It is the capability for social cooperation, which is intimately linked to a compassionate and empathetic attitude towards other species, Dr Ramamurthy Rallapalli, Former Vice Chancellor, SV University, Tirupati said here, while speaking on Plenary Session on Animal Alternatives in Teaching and Testing on the 4th day of 99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT University.
He stressed on the concept of 3Rs - reduction, refinement and replacement - that was developed by Russel and Burch in 1959 in the context of "humane-ness" versus inhumanity in case of animal experiments.
By analysing and documenting the research of the past, the value of animal tested result is overestimated, which may vary from humans, Thomas Hartung, Professor of Johns Hopkins University said. He spoke on 'From alternative methods to a new regulatory toxicology'. Only three percent chemical available in the market is well tested and more and more product is produced by using more chemical, Dr Thomas said. And even some drugs are withdrawn from market even after using for more than a decade.
Dr Shiranee Pereica, Senior scientist of Indian Council of Agricultural Research said that the use of animals in research, teaching and testing is an important ethical issue. Much of the discussion about this issue revolves around the relative value, often referred to as 'moral value', of humans and animals, she added.
Dr H Hosseinkhani, Associate professor from Taiwan suggested the novel and vitro, in silico- omics biology and mathematical modelling could contribute to reducing animal use. Dr. Krishna K.Sharma, Dean of MDS University, Ajmeerhe criticized the system of keeping animals in many institutes, citing it as a major threat to biodiversity. To identify single species, hundreds of same species are caught and to improve this he suggested that it could be identified by bioacoustics spectrum analysis, monecular DNA and by sound spectrum.
Dr Surendran, Head of Animal Science Division, Agakhar Research Institute said hydra was immortal and it was useful in most modern techniques.
Dr. Fleissner for a healthful sleep: Dr. Gerta Fleissner of J.W.Goethe University, Germany
When a living being is awake, the muscle tones are strong. When it closes its eyes for sleeping, the muscle tones become weak. When deep sleep is induced, no muscle tones are found. This came to the fore after the discovery of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in 1953.
Speaking on 'Why we should sleep' at the 99th Indian Science Congress on January 6, Dr. Gerta Fleissner of J.W.Goethe University, Germany said, "A healthy sleep occurs in several phases and each lasts about 60-90 minutes". According to the Electroencephalogram (EEG), the intensity of sleep changes. It becomes the deepest at the first half of the night sleep and smaller in the second half. Similarly REM sleep interrupts the sleep phases. Its duration increases towards the end of the sleep. When people stay in bed for a long time, the sleep is interrupted by many awakenings.
She explained that there could be physical effects of sleep deprivation as aches, blurred vision, depression and colour blindness. Without sleep or continuous disturbed sleep, the living beings get tired, put on weight also fall ill. Dr. Fleissner observed that sleep was indispensable. "Everybody needs at least 8 hours of sleep. It helps to convert the problem of today into solution of tomorrow. It is studied that deprivation of more than five days may kill the rats and no rat survives without sleeping for more than 30 days," she said.
Sleep should have breaks in times, she reasoned adding that sometimes reduced sleep might help and partial sleep deprivation might induce a transit recovery of mood problem. She also denied the fact that "the more you sleep, the better you feel" and observed that it was the most healthful to sleep that you need and also asked not to use sleeping pills. Prof. Santosh Kar of KIIT University chaired the special lecture which was followed by a question-answer session.
Dr Nirupama Rao for ‘scientific temper’ in women
Women Science Congress Inaugurated at KIIT
Indian ambassador to USA Dr Nirupama Rao stressed on women education and women’s participation in science and technology for the growth of the nation. Inaugurating the Women’s Science Congress, a part of 99th Indian Science Congress here at KIIT Stadium she said, “You educate a woman and she will educate a family.”
The Indian diplomat appealed to the society for greater involvement of women in the social sphere of life. “No society can claim to be a part of modern civilisation unless it provides an enabling environment for empowering women and give them equal opportunity,” she said.
Expressing her concern over the fact that the number of women scientists in our country was still minuscule Dr Rao questioned, “Is it because of the institutions to which they belong that discourage their involvement in science?”
Further asking why science streams remain largely male dominated and why there are very few women in national science academies or in decision-making positions in science establishments, the 1973 batch IFS officer advocated for greater presence of women in high-profile institutions of science and technology.
Quoting well-known scientist M S Swaminathan, she prescribed mid-career opportunities for women scientists who quit profession immediately after marriage and self-employment opportunities for women in the ever-expanding field.
Maintaining that the Indian society had always celebrated the spirit of inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge for the advancement of human kind, she quoted former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as saying, “Our founding fathers recognised the need for promoting the scientific temper and the crucial role of science and technology in creating a modern and vibrant India”
In a personal note Dr Rao added, “My mother was a fountain of knowledge. She was the one who contextualised the story of Madame Curie for me when I was young. I read the Curie biography for the first time.”
Speaking on the occasion Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr D. Purandeswari said women's empowerment cannot be complete without their equitable participation in science and technology as they have special role to play. “Given a scope they can bring a wave of creative and generative energy in the field of science and technology,” she opined.
“Today their participation is restricted and limited because of widespread discrimination at the basic education levels and lack of opportunities for pursuing higher studies. In order to expedite the process of development and take our country towards new heights of excellence, it is essential that we take to a process of massive application of science and technology in the realm of womankind,” she pointed out.
Talking on "Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation - Role of women", she hoped it would arrive at meaningful conclusions which could provide appropriate inputs for policy prescriptions in the realm of human progress and growth through the application of science and scientific methods for correcting gender disparity.
The Union minister underlined that India's contribution to the global women's development has been rich, diverse and in many ways unique. “Though the efforts to promote greater equality between men and women can contribute to the overall development of human society, yet despite this highline consciousness and greater awareness of the role of women, no society treats its women as well as its men. Consequently women continue to suffer from diverse deprivations,” she told.
Quoting a study by International Labour Organization Dr Purandeswari said women who represent 50 percent of the world adult population, and one third of the official labour force, and perform nearly 2/3rd of the working hours, receive only one tenth of the world's income and own less than one percent of the world property.
“This gender disparity is palpably evident in the education sector which hits inclusive growth very adversely. Science and technology brings economic growth and well-being to people; not only because of the empowerment of women through science and technology, but also because of the enrichment of science and technology through women's participation. Engagement of women at the grassroot is inevitable for worldwide science and technology capacity building,” she added.
Among others Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO Dr. Gretchen Kalonji, General President, 99th ISC, Prof. Geetha Bali, General Secretary, 99th ISC, Dr. Vijay Laxmi Saxena were present.
Interpreting the challenge of greater involvement of women in science within the context of rapidly changing landscapes of science and technology, Dr. Gretchen said that the highly evolving field of science has helped in increasing the participation of women.
'NKN revolutionised education and healthcare'
All subjects of networking are part and parcel of Indian Education, said Dr. S. V. Raghavan of Delhi-based National Knowledge Network (NKN). He deliberated a lecture which was held through video conferencing on the topic "National Knowledge Network (NKN)-An Instrument of Social Change" on the third day of the 99th Indian Science Congress.
He said the NKN addresses the education and health needs of the country. "Nation needs to integrate all aspects of solution under a single banner and that banner is NKN."
Emphasizing on the internet service provider (ISPs) and the high end services which are only provided in urban areas and the low end services are provided in semi-urban and rural areas, he said "In India there are at least 200 scientific laboratories and 600 institutions of higher learning which generate around 50,000 courses per hour."
He talked about how NKN provides different solutions for education and healthcare like the intensive interactions in all levels and liberal use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). He also spoke on how NKN brings together the institutions which are under various departments and ministries of India.
He said NKN is focusing on education, health and agriculture. In health front, Dr. Raghavan enlightened with the fact that NKN is providing with Digital Health, modernizing public health sectors and said, "Healthy nation is a protective nation".
The main changes now seen in the field of education, research, healthcare, governance and farmcare are due to NKN, he claimed. He further spoke about the features of NKN which provides quality of service, security and wide geographical coverage. "NKN has its collaboration with IITs and NITs and is connected with 160 medical colleges and medical centers," he added.
'Assistive technologies can help differently-abled'
Disability requires different kinds of technologies and there are many such technologies which are being developed that will revolutionize the world of differently-able persons and will be helpful in creating a more inclusive society, said Dr. G. V. Ramaraju in his public lecture on 'Assistive Technologies for Differently Abled'. "Assistive technology uses assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices to help the differently able people perform tasks that they were unable to accomplish or had great difficulty doing. It is useful for those with cerebral palsy or physical disabilities, cognitive disability speech and learning disabilities", explained Dr. Ramaraju. He emphasized that each diverse range of assistive technologies have the potential of bridging the gap and bringing down barriers which were earlier seen as inevitable for the differently-abled. "Our endeavour is to constantly search, identify, recognize and encourage such innovations in the field different and diverse abilities", he said.
BTV vaccine: A challenge in future
Research has centered on a molecular dissection of Orbiviruses, particularly Bluetonque virus, an insect-vectored emerging pathogen of wild ruminants and livestock (with mortality reaching 70% in some breeds of sheep), Dr. Polly Roy from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, said at the 'Women in Science' session of the Women's Science Congress, a part of the 99th Indian Science Congress.
BTV originated in South Africa in early 1900 and is currently endemic in most tropical and sub-tropical countries including India and other south eastern Asian countries. It has recently had a severe economic impact on European agriculture. A recent major finding was the derivation of the first reverse genetics system for BTV (the synthesis of infectious virus solely from synthetic genes), a technique long sought by researchers worldwide for this class of viruses. The ability to directly manipulate the virus has opened a new window of opportunity to understand how the virus invades the host to cause disease.
Further, this breakthrough system has been exploited to produce an efficacious disabled infectious single cycle (DISC) virus. In a recent vaccine trial study it has been shown that DISC vaccine is highly protective against virulent virus challenge in sheep, she informed, adding that these vaccines represent economically feasible and safe vaccine sources for BTV and related viruses.
Give wings to dreams and fly high - Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Hon'ble Fmr. President of India
Former President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam appealed to school children to be unique and work dedicatedly in the field of science and technology. Inaugurating the Children Science Congress on the sidelines of 99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT University on January 4, he exhorted the potential scientists to give wings to their dreams, fly high and make their own mark. "Children are a big force. The ignited mind of youth is the most powerful resource on the earth, above the earth and under the earth. We have got large youth power which no other democratic country has. If you have great aim in life and acquire the knowledge, it does not matter who you are, you will definitely achieve your goal," he said. The 'missile man' of India said the young students should work on their dreams and take calculated risks in life. "The culture of excellence is not achieved by accident, but through a process in which a nation, an individual and an organization constantly tries to get better." He advised the young scientists to be friends with great books, great human being and great teachers. "Critical thinking gives a path to achieve success. A creative mind has the uniqueness of discovering anything and imagination is the beginning of the creation. Invention and discovery come from creative minds," Dr. Kalam said.
He urged the students to have a mission in life to achieve higher standards. "You have to challenge your brain with difficult thinking and idea. Science is a life time mission. You have to acquire knowledge and work hard to realize your dream." Replying to a question on how he managed to balance science and politics when he was the President of India, Dr. Kalam quipped: "Science needs lots of money and money comes from politicians."
The former President faced some difficult questions too, like why India spends so much on missiles and other defence programmes, while so many people sleep on empty stomachs. "I personally feel science is for people who have the capacity to do that and you can select science or humanity," he stated. He also replied to questions on science, space and missile technology. "Earth, Moon and Mars will become economic entities in the next three decades and we will be seeking lot of things from there," he added.
Head of Dept. of Science and Technology Dr. G. P. Singh said scientific literates are required to aware the society and practices of scientific methods for better democracy. "We have to sensitize and popularize scientific methods among masses," he observed.
Bhubaneswar MP Dr. P. K. Patasani lauded the efforts of KIIT & KISS Founder Achyuta Samanta for organizing the mega event. Among others, General President of 99th ISC Prof. Geetha Bali, General Secretary (Scientific Activities) Dr. Vijay Laxmi Saxena were present. Later Dr. Kalam gave away young scientist awards to 14 aspiring scientists. Students also displayed some award winning innovative ideas at Science Exhibition held parallel to the event.
‘Academic institutions can
shape global future’-Dr. Richard R Ernst, Nobel Laureate
Prof. Richard R Ernst, a Swiss Physical Chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991, in his Public Lecture on January 4 emphasized the importance that academic and academic institutions carry in shaping a beneficial global future for all. They are the educators and motivators of the future leading heads in politics, business and academia. He emphasized on the new spirit which should be developed and spread within academic community or society that would be based on co-operation, foresight and compassion to counterbalance the deadly money-mindedness and egomaniac cravings for materialistic goods that lead to present global disarrays. Quoting Philosopher Hans Jonas, Prof. Ernst agreed that the task to educate future generation of leaders lie with us. Speaking about all human beings are researchers by nature, he said that research had been indispensable for understanding nature on the one hand, and for stimulating industry on the other.
Research is indispensable for sustainable development, saving resources, improving health and reducing gap between the rich and the poor, he said. In a tone of anguish, he emphasized that while the world enjoys the fruits of scientific discovery in one end, in the other it is suffering because of continuance to rather catastrophes works, environmental damages, self-solveness, greed, corruption, crime and poverty. Prof. Ernst reminded us the teachings of Sufi teacher Nawab Jan-Fishan Khan who said "the candle is not there to eliminate itself". This refers to academic responsibility decide our own ivory tower.
Therefore, the responsibility is with us to build bridges based on tolerance and responsibility between science and the public, rich and the poor, developed and the developing countries and between religions. Research and teaching are not the academic obligations of researcher, rather it is important to have foresight and planning for the future. We need a changed world and for that we have to change ourselves.
Quoting from Mahatma Gandhi, he said "we must be the change we want to see". Science without conscience ruins the show said Francois Rabelis and we must not forget that. He advised the scientific community to become both founders of society and not to forget the strong and positive words that the Philosopher Carl Pepper said in 1993 "optimism is our duty. We all are jointly responsible for what will come". The Public Lecture today was attended by delegates from all sections of science and the students to hear the brilliant speech made by a great scientist like Prof. Ernst who could show the other side of a scientist to convince that science is for the people.
Dr. Richard R Ernst was awarded Nobel Prize for his contribution towards the development of Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy while at Varian Associates, Palo Alto and the subsequent development of multi-dimensional NMR techniques. He studied and served in Eidgneossi sche Technische Hochschule in Zurich. Though retired now, he is still pursuing his research.
Rashtriya Vigyan Chalachitra Mela kicks off
The second Rashtriya Vigyan Chalachitra Mela (RVCM) and competition was inaugurated by Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Govt. of Odisha, Niranjan Pujari at KIIT University on January 4. The RVCM is the creation of Vigyan Prasar, a national institute under Department of Science and Technology, to encourage science film makers and enrich the contents of science programmes. Inaugurating the four-day event, Pujari said film is an effective medium to promote science. "Today, everybody takes interest in watching television. So, film can be an effective way to popularize science," he said. Founder of KIIT & Chief Patron, 99th ISC, Achyuta Samanta, Chairman of Bharatiya Jan Vigyan Samiti, R N Ray and Coordinator, RVCM 2012, Arbind C. Ranade were present.
Organising the RVCM concurrently with the annual session of Indian Science Congress has added value and strength to the event, Samanta said in his brief speech. "It has created a platform for RVCM to reach a large number people having interest in science," he added.
Talking about the objectives of RVCM, Ranade said the science film festival is a common platform for all - professors, scientists, film makers and students and it would help in developing knowledge in science. Ray said that the participation of students in the event as film makers was a good sign. "Students in greater numbers are showing interest in making short films on science and they are focusing on local issues, which is a good sign," he added.
To Sir, With Love
As the former President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam drove into the campus of KIIT University to inaugurate Children's Science Congress, he received a thunderous applause from thousands of students, teachers, delegates and young scientists who were present on the occasion.
The sunny radiance of the young faces lit with the pride and happiness of meeting and shaking hands with Dr. Kalam outshone the bright sunshine that spread across the quadrangle. He was here to speak on the topic – "Transform yourself, Unique you". Children were impatiently waiting for his arrival. Showing a handmade greeting card, 10 year old Prashant said, "I prepared this New Year card for Dr Kalam and I will present the card to Sir with love."
The session covered a wide range of topics ranging from the Indian Diaspora to personal development. He was asked many science-related questions to which he gave candid replies. He administered an oath to all present, eliciting their promise to work selflessly and single-mindedly to achieve their goal and make the nation proud.
‘Food security in time
of climate change is a
major concern'-Nobel Laureate Dr. Kurt Wuthrich
Nobel Laureate Dr. Kurt Wuthrich, deliberated on "Basic Research and Human Daily Life",by emphasizing the importance of basic research, its application and its effect in a holistic way. Holding an umbrella in one hand, which gives protection against rain, and a water bottle in the other to drink is an important point in applied research.Professor Wuthrich currently maintains a laboratory both at the ETH Zurich and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.
The Chairperson introduced the speaker by describing his pioneering work in the development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution which earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize. He basically delved into his own research of NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) in structural biology. Structural biology is the science of analyzing and determining the three-dimensional shape of the molecules of life. There are two main classes of biological macromolecules: nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) and Proteins. Some of the artistic drawings of structure determination were depicted on the slides.
Structure determination of a macromolecule is originally connected to basic research. Cyclosporine A had saved a large number of lives. Hemoglobin, the protein which makes the blood looks red, without whose function there is any life. Practical application of science is utmost important. It is the job of scientists and other people related to science to link basic research and human daily life. He concluded by saying, "It is extremely important in all countries, in Switzerland, US, India and everywhere else, that we emphasize the education of new generation of scientists and engineers who could carry useful practical application of science", said Dr. Wuthrich.
'Nutritional Transition' should be a topic at centenary of ISC: Dr. V Prakash
In India 50% of the income goes to food consumption and therefore it affects the productivity and output. Dr. V Prakash, former Director, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore said while appreciating the Food Security Bill which included Nutrition Security too. He was speaking at Plenary Session on Maternal and Child Health Care – Nutritional Security. He focused on three major issues such as 25% infant mortality rate in India, neglected micro-nutrients and malnutrition and 200 children dying in India everyday due to malnutrition.
He discussed the effects of climate change and different types of gases like carbon-di-oxide, methane, nitrous oxide affecting the food grains. But according to his statistics, the grain consumption is declining. In various peripheral situations like droughts, floods, nutrition is becoming a holistic approach.
He raised concern that huge innovations for betterment of the crops were being claimed but to no avail. "It is just not the climate change like global warming but it is about enabling farmer's ability to feed the urbanites. He focused on "Low Carbon Food Print Diet", said Dr. V Prakash.
He further spoke about how rice-bran (the nutritious outer layer) comes out when brown rice is polished to make it white. He emphasized on the importance of traditional brown rice. He said that inter-disciplinary and holistic solution is required. He concluded by saying that in the centenary of Indian Science Congress the topic "Nutritional Transition" should be included. Dr. Devendra K.Agarwal, Professor at Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University School Of Medicine, USA, who spoke on "Vitamin D in Maternal and Child Health Care", laid emphasis on how Vitamin D is neglected and in the last 10years its importance has been highlighted. "There are two forms of Vitamin D, one is Vitamin D2 which is found in plants and Vitamin D3 which is obtained from dietary sources and is the most common. Vitamin D comes from UV-B radiation and it helps to maintain serum calcium in the body", explained Agarwal. Professor at Interactive Research School for Health Affairs, Bharatiya Vidyapeeth University, Pune, Sadhna Ranjan Joshi delivered lecture on "Maternal micronutrients (folic acid, vitamin B12) and omega 3 fatty acids and risk of adult non communicable diseases". She said "Healthy Motherhood" was a global challenge and major challenges faced by India were 'Brain diseases and Diabetes'.
Knowing earth systems for a better life-Dr. Shailesh Nayak
The intricate interactions among the different sub-systems of earth: atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, geosphere and biosphere, make earth a single inter-linked system. Understanding these interactions can lead to improved prediction of weather and climate.
Giving an overview of knowing the earth systems better and their effect on human lives, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Chairman of Plenary Session on Frontiers of Atmospheric Sciences & Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, said, "The atmospheric and ocean observations are being augmented by deploying automatic weather stations, automatic rain gauges, Doppler weather radars, argo floats, HF radars, moored buoys and current meters. As climate change issues take centre-stage, the need for a deeper understanding of the components of earth systems is recognised as critical for learning for the earth is changing."
U. C. Mohanty, Centre for Atmosphere Sciences, IIT Delhi presented that the genesis and development of weather events involve complex interaction mechanism of mesoscale convective organisation embedded in large-scale circulation. The ability to anticipate the formation, intensity and movement of organised convective storms remains a major challenge for numerical prediction models as well as for human forecasters. Mohanty with his team has undertaken study to improve forecast skill of the mesoscale model (WRF) for high impact weather extremes through assimilation of different high resolution observations. Remote sensing technology, a science for observing, identifying, and monitoring the objects of interest without coming into direct contact with it, has evolved over the last four years from the humble beginning of taking aerial photographs from aeroplanes to the monitoring of weather patterns using the first satellite (TIROS) in 1960 to the effective utilisation of microwave radars for digital land mapping and rainfall estimation.
D. Narayan Rao, Convener of the Session & Director (Research), SRM University, Chennai, emphasised, "Remote sensing technology has found important applications in mapping land use and cover, agriculture, soil mapping, forecasting potential fishing zones, city planning, disaster monitoring, military observation, monitoring of trace grass, aerosols, estimation of precipitation, profiling of atmospheric temperature and humidity. Indian has made giant strides in both ground-based and space-borne remote sensing." With the constellation of 10 INSAT (Indian National Satellite) and 11 IRS (Indian remote sensing) satellites in orbit, India today has become one of the few nations having such a constellation of satellites.
The recent successful launch of Megha-Tropiques, an Indo-French satellite aimed to study the water-cycle and energy exchanges in the tropiques is one of the landmarks in the history of Indian Remote Sensing satellite endeavours. The forthcoming INSAT-3D is also an advanced meteorological satellite having a 19-channel sounder and a –channel imager to provide an operational, environmental, and storm warning system.
Dr. Harish C Pant on Dementia
Alzheimer's disease (AD), a cause of Dementia, which causes cognitive dysfunction has been a matter of great concern for neuro scientists. Dr. Harish C Pant, Neuronal Cytoskeletal Protein Regulation Section of Laboratory of Neurochemistry, NINDS, Bethesda, USA said that although treatment and life style could lessen the progression of AD and help manage its symptoms in some people, currently there is no cure for this devastating disease. The number of people with AD doubles for every 5-year interval beyond the age of 65. Dementia, which interferes with daily life and activities starts in a region of the brain that affects recent memory gradually spreading to other parts of the brain. AD, which is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German doctor, described changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. He found abnormal clumps, now called amyloid plaques and tangled bundles of fibers, now called neurofibrillary tangles. Pant said today these plaques and tangles in the brain are considered hallmarks of AD. The third main feature of AD is the gradual loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. This loss leads to diminished cell function and cell death. "We don't know what starts the AD process, but we do know that damage to the brain begins as many as 10 to 20 years before any obvious signs of forgetfulness appear. As nerve cells die throughout the brain, affected regions begin to shrink", explained Pant. He said by the final stage of AD, damage is widespread and brain tissue has shrunk significantly. The growing number of people with AD and the costs associated with the disease also will put a heavy economic burden on society, added Dr. Pant.
Opportune time to rethink on food production
and research methods: Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR
Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, Indian Council of Agriculture and Research (ICAR) described the importance of scientific research in the field of agriculture and the challenges it is facing presently.
While speaking on 'Feeding Crores Forever' on the second day of the 99th ISC, he said that the work of the scientists in the areas spanning pesticides, agricultural machines, rural development, renewable energy sources, materials technology, molecular plant breeding, genetically improved grains, is changing our agriculture and spearheading a remarkable silent revolution, which is shaping our country's progress through this decade of innovation. He stated that we needed to look differently at our priorities in food and this is an opportune time to re-think the food production and research methods system. Also, the maintenance of the system can be carried out within the village and information systems as Kisan Mobile Sandesh and Agropedia need to be developed more thereby creating indirect employment.
He expressed his concerns about natural resource base, impact of climate change on production, ground depletion, and imbalance in food grain. "We have to act as clearing house of research and general information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, home science and fisheries and to institute and promote transfer of technology programmes", said Ayappan. Further elaborating on the issue he said that we have to undertake and promote consultancy services in the fields of education, research, training and dissemination of information in agriculture, agro forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences. "It will help us to look into problems relating to broader areas of rural development. However, in this endeavour, the generation of ideas is critical. Central to the ideation process is 'Right to Food' and the Science policy has to be people participating", pointed out Ayappan. On the strengths of India he said the nation has drought accessing monitoring system, which will be upgraded for drought proofing agriculture. He also informed the audience about improved productivity in dry land farming, bio-engineering measures for soil-conservation, integrated nutrient management, integrated farming system and water budgeting.
"These strengths need to be harnessed to address the basic needs of people and to transform India into food-secured nation", asserted Dr. Ayappan.
Lack of awareness compounds
drug abuse disorder, says Shri Nagaraj
There are many challenges for effectively treating the individuals suffering from mental and drug abuse disorder. Vinay Nagaraj, MD feels that there are a number of reasons why these individuals don't have access to treatment. He said among other reasons limited knowledge of the individual and their caregivers compound the problem. The social stigma also plays a role. Individuals with mental illness commonly suffer from drug abuse disorders. There are many types of substances that can affect individuals including alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, club drugs, prescription pain and sedative-hypnotic medications. The most effective treatment includes behavioral modification techniques in addition to limited pharmacologic options. The challenges of treating individuals with de-addiction mimic the challenges of treatment of those with mental illness.
Nagaraj raised the different types of mental illness as well as the mainstay of treatment for each disorder. He spoke about types of drug use disorders and current treatment strategies. He put special emphasis on the obstacles to effective treatment for this needy subset of the population. There are many forms of mental illness including disorders of mood (depression and bipolar spectrum illness), anxiety (generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic disorder), psychosis (schizophrenia spectrum disorder). Each of these disorders has very different clinical presentations, progression and response to treatment.
Experts stress 'Biodiversity Foresight
Analysis' to predict biodiversities components
There is great expectation from Rio Earth Summit, 2012, which is going to be held in Brazil June this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) with the significant aim of securing renewed commitment to sustainable development. Mr. B. Pisupati, Chairman of the National Biodiversity Association expressed this in his lecture at Panel Discussion on 'Biodiversity - Governance Role of Community and Women' the second day of 99 Indian Science Congress. Mr. R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India said a 'Biodiversity Foresight Analysis' was required to predict components of biodiversities that must be preserved while recognising the inevitable demands of technological development. "The human development index cannot be raised in developing countries without introducing appropriate technology", said Chidambaram.
"Even today in most of the societies women are considered as private domain, not as public domain", opined Lucy Mulenkei , Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Network in Kenya. She emphasised that for a better and developed society it is a necessary that we recognise the role of women. Women play a vital role in preserving and protecting and this practice is a part of biodiversity conservation, she said.
Mr. Arun K. Barasal stated the importance of the National Forest Policy 1988 whose basic objectives include maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and restoration of the ecological balance that has been adversely disturbed by serious depletion of the forests of the country. He said conserving the natural heritage by preserving the remaining natural forests with the vast variety of flora and fauna, which represent the remarkable biological diversity and genetic resources of the country, is very important for development. Sanjay V Deshmukh, professor of Life-science in Mumbai University talked about the importance of involving coastal communities in conservation and sustainable management of coastal biodiversity. Pierluigi Bozzi talks about genetic resource lessons from implementing actions and relation of the science, education and culture while S.Subramaniyan, member of National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai focused on the strategic resource mobilisation for promoting biodiversity activities integrating women's participation.
99th Indian Science Congress Inaugurated at KIIT
Need to make science more relevant for poor: Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh called for greater alignment of the science and technology sector with the inclusive development needs of the country. Inaugurating the 99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT University on January 3, he said, “It is said that science is often pre-occupied with problems of the rich, ignoring the enormous and in many ways more challenging problems of the poor and the under-privileged. We must also make scientific output more relevant to our stage of development”.
The PM laid emphasis on ensuring a major increase in investment in research and development including by industry and strategic sectors along with creation of a new innovation ecosystem. He stressed on expanding basic science infrastructure while enlarging the reach of international collaboration.
Expressing concern that countries like China had overtaken India in terms of position in the world of science, he said there need to do much more to change the face of Indian science. “We must strengthen the supply chain of the science sector. While it is true that science and engineering continue to attract some of our best students, many of them later opt for other careers because of relatively poorer prospects in science”, said Dr. Singh.
Hon'ble Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik eulogised the geniuses of Odisha, who according to him, epitomized excellence in the field of science. He said one such genius was Samanta Chandrasekhar who could measure the heights of mountains by using simple sticks. He also made a special mention of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, who took many pioneering steps to establish a chain of educational institutions to promote science education. “He provided outstanding leadership in instituting the prestigious UNESCO Kalinga Prize for promotion of science at the global level. Some of the greatest scientists of the world have been the recipients of this prestigious award”, said Shri Patnaik.
Hon'ble Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh lauded the efforts of KIIT & KISS Founder Dr. A. Samanta for his efforts in hosting the mega event. “The future belongs to science and to those who make friendship with science”, said Shri Deshmukh. He said various revolutions in science including the green revolution, white revolution brought huge recognition to the numerous talented scientists of the nation.
The whole KIIT campus was abuzz with activities after the arrival of PM with security personnel keeping a vigilant eye on the arrangements. Among others, His Excellency Governor of Odisha Shri M. C. Bhandare, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Shri Ashwani Kumar, General President of 99th ISC Prof. Geetha Bali, KIIT Founder & Chief Patron, 99th ISC Dr. A. Samanta and NISER Director Dr. T. K. Chandrashekar also were present. Record 20,000 delegates, including renowned scientists from India and abroad, are taking part in the 99th Indian Science Congress.
The Prime Minister gave away various ISCA awards for the year 2011-12. Dr. Samanta received Jawaharlal Nehru Prize for KISS, the largest tribal institute of the world, while KIIT Vice Chancellor Prof. A. S. Kolaskar was awarded Srinivasa Ramanujan Birth Centenary Award. Besides, two tribal achievers in the field of agriculture Raita Mudil and Chandra Pradhan were also felicitated by the Prime Minister for their valuable contribution in conservation of ecology by adopting traditional agricultural practices. General President Gold medal award was given to six eminent scientists including Nobel prize winners dr. Richard R Ernst, Dr. Rolf M . Zinkernagel and Dr. Kurt Wuthrich; and Polly Rai of UK, Harish Pant of USA, Geeta Fleissner of Germany and M.K. Sridhar of Karnataka.
Science Exhibition Inaugurated: Hon'ble Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh inaugurated the science exhibition in the presence of Dr. A. Samanta, Chief Patron, 99th ISC & Founder, KIIT & KISS and General President, 99th ISC, Prof. Geetha Bali inside the KIIT Stadium. 'Pride of India Expo' for this session has been organized by MM Active Sci-Tech Communications Pvt. Ltd. The Expo has four main components - Vigyan Jyot, Exhibition, Genesis Symposium for one day and Hall of Pride, dedicated to Archarya Prafulla Chandra Ray, father of modern chemistry in India. The exhibition which was organized in an area of 7000 square meters is being participated by more than 700 exhibitors and 150 organizations. Some of the chief pavilions are CSIR, DRDO, State of Odisha, ICMA etc. Replicas of various missiles like Prithvi, Agni and Brahmos are important attractions, among others.
Excerpts from the Speech of Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India at the Inaugural Ceremony of 99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT University,
Bhubaneswar on January 3, 2012
Odisha is the most appropriate venue for the Indian Science Congress as this year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UNESCO-Kalinga Prize set up by Shri Biju Patnaik. I congratulate Professor Geetha Bali for choosing, as the theme for the Congress, the Role of Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation with special reference to the role of women. It was a hundred years ago that Madame Marie Curie, one of the most outstanding scientists of the 20th century, won her first Nobel Prize. To honour her achievements, last year was declared as the International Year of Chemistry. Her work exemplified her belief that science should, in the end, contribute to tangible social good.
I have often spoken about the commitment of our Government to give a boost to the science and technology sector in the country. There is also some evidence that these efforts are beginning to produce results. Over the last few years, the number of scientific publications by Indian scientists working in India has increased at more than 12% per annum against the global average of 4%. India has moved from the 15th rank in 2003 to the 9th rank in 2010 with respect to the number of publications in peer valued journals. The university research system is also showing signs of rejuvenation. In 2008, I gave away incentive awards to 14 universities under the Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) scheme. In 2010, 30 more universities have qualified under the same criteria. We produce 8,900 Ph.Ds annually in science and engineering, three thousand more than five years ago. The INSPIRE scheme is doing well and is also responding to our concerns about inclusiveness. The enrolment of weaker sections in the scheme is good and 49.6% of the INSPIRE awardees are girls. More than 60% of INSPIRE fellows pursuing doctoral research are women.
Over the past few decades, India's relative position in the world of science had been declining and we have been overtaken by countries like China. Things are changing but we cannot be satisfied with what has been achieved. We need to do much more to change the face of Indian science. We must also make scientific output more relevant to our stage of development. It is said that science is often pre-occupied with problems of the rich, ignoring the enormous and in many ways more challenging problem of the poor. As we head into the Twelfth Plan, there are some broad objectives we must try to achieve in the Science and Technology sector.
First, we must ensure a major increase in investment in R&D, including by industry and strategic sectors. Second, we must ensure creation of a new innovation ecosystem. Third, we must achieve greater alignment of the Science and Technology sector with the inclusive development needs of the nation. Fourth, we must expand basic science infrastructure. Fifth, we must encourage greater research collaboration among universities and national laboratories. We hope to use the National Knowledge Network to this end. Finally, we must enlarge international collaboration. At present, publicly funded R&D is skewed in favour of fundamental rather than applied research. It is easier to attract industrial funds into applied research areas and a set of principles should be formulated to push such funding and to drive PPPs in R&D. While research generates new knowledge, we need innovation to use this knowledge productively for social benefit. Our Government has declared 2010-20 as the "Decade of Innovations". We need to give practical meaning to innovation so that it does not end up being just a buzz word. In this context, it is important that we explore and rejuvenate traditional knowledge systems found all over the country in areas such as agriculture, architecture, handicrafts and textiles. One need go no further than the tribal communities of the Kharia, Santhals, Gonds and Kolhas who live in the deep forest areas of Mayurbhanj and have a reservoir of knowledge on medicinal usage of locally available plants. I congratulate the tribal community of Koraput for the global recognition they have received for their contribution to conserving bio-diversity and developing climate resilient farming systems.
In India women are making a mark in traditionally male bastions and decisively breaking the glass ceiling. The Project Director of the Agni Missile programme is a woman scientist Dr. Tessy Thomas. Last year, for the first time, three women scientists received the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award, as compared to a total of only 11 women awardees for all the years since 1958 up to then. I congratulate these women scientists. I hope that their examples will motivate other women to take up careers in science, where women are underrepresented.
This year we celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of the great mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan. We have declared 2012 to be the National Mathematical Year to emphasise the importance of maintaining our traditional strength in mathematics. It is a matter of great pride that the name of another great Indian scientist Satyendranath Bose is associated with an elementary particle that may revolutionise our understanding of sub-atomic physics.
‘99th ISC will Usher in Year of Science’
This Session of Indian Science Congress is historical in ushering in the 'Year of Science' in India and the centenary year of Science Congress, said Prof. Geetha Bali, General President, 99th ISC in her Presidential Address on the occasion of inauguration of this mega science meet. "The new millennium has created both an opportunity and the necessity to bridge the entire spectrum of humanity's pursuit of knowledge and integrate it with the welfare of society", she said, while emphasizing the need for the confluence of science and technology with social sciences.
Referring to Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), a protégé of KIIT where 15,000 tribal children get education, food, residence and all other necessities free of cost, she stated that holding of the session, which has 'science and technology for inclusive innovation' as its theme, in KIIT adds to its significance. While India has done outstandingly well in several frontiers of science, the biggest challenge lies in ensuring that the benefits of developments in science and technology reach people of all classes despite geographical, social, cultural, linguistic and a multitude of differences including gender, Prof. Bali said.
"Achieving inclusive development through innovations and unfettered involvement of women in the development process in the country is in focus during the 99th Indian Science Congress", she informed. The deliberations would lead to important recommendations guiding our efforts for achieving vision 2020, she hoped.
Science Exhibition Inaugurated
Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh inaugurated the science exhibition in the presence of Dr. A. Samanta, Chief Patron, 99th ISC & Founder, KIIT and General President, 99th ISC, Prof. Geetha Bali inside the KIIT Stadium on January 3. 'Pride of India Expo' for this session has been organized by MM Active Sci-Tech Communications Pvt. Ltd. The Expo has four main components – Vigyan Jyot, Exhibition, Genesis Symposium for one day and Hall of Pride, dedicated to Archarya Prafulla Chandra Ray, father of modern chemistry in India. The exhibition being organized in an area of 7000 square meters is being participated by more than 700 exhibitors and 150 organizations. Some of the chief pavilions are CSIR, DRDO, Odisha, ICMA etc. Replicas of Prithvi, Agni and Brahmos missiles are major attractions
Neutralizing antibody responses are induced very
late by HIV in humans - Dr. Rolf M. Zinkernagel, Nobel Laureate
While for most acute cytopathic classical childhood infections, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, polio or small pox, our usual in vitro assays ELISA, γ-IFN producing T cells or T cell proliferation correlate reasonably well with the immunological memory, neutralizing antibody responses are induced very late by HIV in humans (or by LCMV in mice), observed Nobel Laureate Dr. Rolf M. Zinkernagel.
Delivering Public Lecture on 'Why do we not have a vaccine against HIV or TB', Dr. Zinkernagel said this common feature applies to several human persisting viral infections, including HBV, HCV, HIV (and many parasitic infections) even as HIV-1 infections induce quick and very good ELISA positive responses. "If a neutralizing antibody arises and viraemia re-emerges, then often neutralizing antibody escape mutant viruses get selected. This indicates that only a multi-specific type of vaccine may eventually control such infections. Since this may include up to 10,000 or 100,000 variations for HIV (or 1,000 for influenza virus), such a vaccine will be very difficult to develop," he said.
The Nobel laureate said there is good evidence that only persisting and re-encountered antigen maintains the specific neutralizing antibody. "This antigen-dependent protection is a far cry from the immunological memory and its relationship to vaccine mediated protection to become plasma cells. Therefore impact of antigen dependent protection via activation of B cells or effector T cells impinges on our understanding of protective vaccines, particularly against chronic persistent types of infections," he maintained. Zinkernagel who got the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 1996 along with Prof. Peter C Doherty said vaccine strains that tend to persist, such as BCG, loose protective capacity once the vaccine strain has been eliminated by the host. "On the other hand attenuated vaccine strains may regain virulence under certain circumstances (e.g. HIV-1 or SHIV) suggesting that development of sufficiently attenuated but not too much attenuated vaccine strains may be either extremely difficult or impossible".
‘Balance basic and applied research’
India's science and technology programme must balance basic and applied research with innovation, commercialisation and societal reach since the nation is witnessing rapid changes with its technology needs ranging from nuclear to rural, said Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India. He was delivering a Public Lecture on 'Research and Innovation: Many Dimensions' at the 99th Indian Science Congress on January 3.
Chidambaram laid emphasis on innovation in high-technology enterprises requiring strong Research and Development (R&D) inputs and academia industry interactions. He said Indian policy must encourage early introduction of new advanced technologies. India's potential for manufacturing competitiveness is seen globally as talent-driven innovation, he informed.
"In the chain ' research - development - delivery', the weakness in the context of industrial development is 'development', while in rural development, the weakness is in 'delivery'. Inclusive growth demands that we enhance academia-industry interactions for industrial development and improve systems for technology delivery for rural development", said Chidambaram. India needs to support research strongly in all its dimensions. "We must encourage the highest intellects to work on fundamental problems of their choice backed by what I call 'directed' basic research; pre-competitive applied research as well as applied research for proprietary product and process development", stated Chidambaram. He further said that the e-science infrastructure was improving rapidly in India.
The under establishment National Knowledge Network will link the country's knowledge institutions at speeds scalable up to tens of gigabits per second.
This will help both research and innovation, including national and international collaboration in both. We must learn to leverage international collaboration to strengthen our own initiatives, added Chidambaram.
Science and technology can become a tool
for the society - Kasturirangan
The Science Policy for Twelfth five-year plan will encourage the development of India's agriculture, education, health and social welfare through government spending, Chairman of Planning Commission K Kasturirangan said while delivering lecture on 'Science Policy Making' at the 99th Indian Science Congress on January 3. "It is also expected to create employment through manufacturing sector and harness the young talent pool, encourage participation in research and increase industry-academia interaction," he said.
"We hope to bring a paradigm shift to science and technology. In a fast growing nation like ours the policies will not achieve their target, if a society will not be informed. What is best depends upon when, where and for whom it is used for," he said. Emphasizing the role of Science he said, "Science and Technology are rampantly advancing. Together these can become a tool for society. Therefore, it has to occupy a centre stage and new science and technology policy has to be innovative to accelerate the growth."
Kasturirangan emphasized that the 12th plan would focus on transforming India from Poor Economy Status to Middle Economy Status country and by the end of the plan period it aims to achieve remarkable growth in per capita.
Dr. V. M. Katoch, Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Health Research Director General, and Indian Council of Medial Research was of the opinion that 'Health for all is objective'. He admired Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comment on monsoon launching system and said that major emphasis should be given to address the issues related to climate change and earth system. "A strong interdependent policy should be implemented which will bring about a structural reform," he said.
Dr. Samir K. Brahmachari, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Reform (CSIR) said though a lot of plans and policies have been made, they lack people's support as the latter want their implementation and execution in ground level. He said, "We need a new way of University system with excellence and high value. Indian Science is divisive. So we should mix up science with technology," he stated adding that special programmes should be initiated for school drop-outs.
Dr. M. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, New Delhi dwelled upon the challenges of science policy making and said that unbalanced innovation will be of no use for any society and the potential of science and technology still remain untapped for a common man.
Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati, Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) in his presentation said that there should be a link between 'sciences of biodiversity with policy of biodiversity'. He also advocated that policy should be made through public private partnership.
Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India focused on the policy that should stand for the people. "Time has come for a shift from public policy for science to science policy for public," he said. Dr. Ramasami was also of the opinion that youth should be given importance while making science policy and hoped that it would be implemented before the Indian Science Congress meets at Kolkata on its centennial edition next year. Prof. R. Ramamurthi was convener of the Panel Discussion.
‘ICT will help India achieve Vision 2020’-Dr. N. Chandrasekharan
As 3G and broadband networks become all pervasive over the next few years, it will become a powerful tool to spur economic growth and help India achieve its Vision 2020, said CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Service Dr. N. Chandrasekharan. Referring to the government's initiatives to connect universities and gram panchayats to the information grid in his Public Lecture at the 99th India Science Congress in KIIT University, Chandrasekharan said ICT have had a salient impact on India's economic growth rate over the last two decades. Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University chaired the Public Lecture.
“As a proportion of National GDP, the IT sectors revenues have grown from 1.2 percent in 1998 to an estimated 6.4 percent in 2012. Its share of total Indian exports (merchandise plus services) increased from less than 4 percent in 1998 to 26 percent in 2011. The industry is nearing the $100 billion milestone and NASSCOM estimates that it can generate revenue of 139 billion by 2015. From $88 billion at present, “ he observed. The corporate honcho estimated that the compounded effect of achieving the targeted annual GDP growth rate of 8.5 to 9 percent over the next 20 years would result in quadrupling of the real per capita income and almost eliminating the percentage of Indians living below the poverty line. “This will mean, India will move from a low income country to a upper middle income country by 2020-2025,” he said.
Quoting an estimation of the United nations, Dr. Chandrasekharan said India will account for almost 26 percent of the increase in global working-age population over the next 10 years. The UN estimates India will contribute an additional 136 million people to the global labour pull of 17 percent of the additional global workforce by 2020, whereas China and the U.S. will only contribute an addition of 23 million and 11 million workers during this period, he informed.
Stressing on more employment generation, the TCS CEO stated that the private sector will be more involved in working closely with the Govt to create job opportunities.”Direct employment in IT industry is expected to reach nearly 2.5 million, an annual addition of 240,000 employees, while indirect job creation in IT ecosystem is estimated at 8.3 million during the current fiscal There are huge opportunities, the only thing is that we have to encash them”, he added.
Odisha presents a paradox. With hundreds of gigantic edifices scattered all over the state, 482 km. long coastline, lakes and lagoons and rich cultural heritage, it should have occupied a prominent place in the tourism map of India. It is rather unfortunate that Odisha has not been able to attract the desired number of visitors. One of the main reasons for this has been its lack of exposure. Odisha has not been showcased properly for which it gets less visitors in comparison to other states which advertise vigorously. The 99th Indian Science Congress provided the right scope to project Odisha in its proper perspectives. Thousands of delegates from all parts of the globe have assembled in KIIT and there could not have been a better occasion than the Science Congress to showcase Odisha in all its colours. When the idea was mooted by Dr. Samanta, then there was a lot of skepticism as to how it could be translated. Steps were taken to create an ambience of a rural Odisha where shops would be selling handloom, handicrafts and all other things for which the state is proud of. Odishan look to the Odisha Mandap, with all the stalls made up of thatched roof and the Sand Art created in the venue, is sure to captivate every visitor. Since Odisha is culturally very rich, various cultural events have been planned to be performed from 3rd to 7th January 2012 regularly. Odishan artists through their scintillating performances will keep the audience glued to their seats.
Enthusiastic Reception for Vigyan Jyot at KIIT
Vigyan Jyot (Flame of Knowledge), a ceremonial component of the Indian Science Congress, arrived at KIIT on January 2, 2012 on the eve of inauguration of the 99th session of this mega scientific meet in the hands of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India. Joy and enthusiasm was palpable as Dr. A. Samanta, Chief Patron, 99th ISC and Founder, KIIT & KISS received the flame at a colourful ceremony in the presence of Dr. P. K. Patasani, Hon'ble Member of Parliament (L.S.), Bhubaneswar, Shri A. N. Jena, Mayor, Bhubaneswar, Mr. Ravi Boratkar, MD MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications Pvt. Ltd. and Prof. R. P. Kaushik, Chancellor, KIIT University.
The Jyot, with its core theme as 'Science for a Billion People', was flagged off at Grand House Women’s College, Delhi on 16th December 2011 by Prof. Dinesh Singh, VC, Delhi University. Starting its journey from Delhi, it covered more than 2400 km across more than 15 cities including Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Aurangabad, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Lucknow, Dhanbad, Kolkata, Kharagpur and Cuttack, before reaching Bhubaneswar. Vigyan Jyot is inspired by Olympic flame and strives to ignite young minds to be a part of science movement in India.
KIIT’s Bigyan Rath Concludes its Journey
The Bigyan Rath, an innovative initiative of KIIT University and NISER to popularize science among the youths and common people of the State of Odisha, concluded its state-wide journey in Cuttack, the birthplace of renowned scientist Prana Krushna Parija, on 3rd December 2011. Held as a prelude to the 99th Indian Science Congress, to be hosted by KIIT University in association with NISER from 3-7 January 2012, the Rath in its very successful run during 20-day period traveled 4000 kilometers, covering more than 1000 educational institutes and more than 100 towns in all the 30 districts of Odisha, touching each and every individual. The Rath was flagged off from Khandapada, the birthplace of Pathani Samanta, by Shri M. C. Bhandare, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha on 14th November 2011.
The closing ceremony of the Bigyan Rath, held at Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, was graced by Dr. P. K. Patasani, Hon’ble MP, Bhubaneswar; Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab, Hon’ble MP, Cuttack; Shri Pravat Ranjan Biswal, Hon’ble MLA, Choudwar-Cuttack; Shri Manmohan Praharaj, IPS, Director General of Police, Odisha; Girish S. N, Collector, Cuttack; Dr. R. N. Ray, Chairman, National Children Science Congress; Prof. B. C. Tripathy, VC, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack; Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS; Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, VC, KIIT University; and Dr. A. K. Naik, Registrar, NISER; Lalatendu Parija, the son of Late Prana Krushna Parija and Shrikant Parida, President of Ravenshaw University Students union.
The Bigyan Rath has played a constructive role in taking the message of benefits of science and technology in rural area, said Dr. Patasani. Hailing the initiative of KIIT as unique and innovative, Shri Mahtab said that the grand success of the Bigyan Rath points to the need to organise more such mass contact programmes in the field of science and technology. Dr. Samanta thanked people of Odisha for the success of the Bigyan Rath and extended them invitation to be a part of the mega scientific event to be held in KIIT during 3-7 January 2012. Prof. Kolaskar delivered the presidential address, while Dr. Naik proposed the vote of thanks.
Total 31 toppers of District-level Essay Competition, also organised by KIIT in all the districts of Odisha as a prelude to the 99th Indian Science Congress, were also announced and awarded on the occasion. Last month, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences had inaugurated the District-level and National-level essay competition at KIIT. In the junior category, 30 toppers, one from each district, were awarded with Rs. 10,000/- and a certificate each. Sole winner in the senior category received Rs. 15,000/- and a certificate. Ms. Bibhusmita Singha Samanta, fourth generation of Pathani Samanta, was also felicitated on the occasion. Result of National-level essay competition will be declared during the 99th session of Indian Science Congress.
99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT Governor Flags Off Bigyan Rath
Shri M. C. Bhandare, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha flagged off Bigyan Rath at Ramachandra High School, Khandapada, the birthplace of Pathani Samanta, on 14th November 2011. The Bigyan Rath is an innovative initiative of KIIT University to popularize science among the youths and common people of the State of Odisha. Being held as a prelude to the 99th Indian Science Congress, to be hosted by KIIT University in association with NISER from 3-7 January 2012, Bigyan Rath will travel 3500 kilometers covering all the 30 districts of Odisha. On its way, the Rath will conduct mass contact programmes at grassroot level to create sciential awareness among the youths, students, teachers and common people.
Expressing his satisfaction over hosting the 99th Indian Science Congress in Odisha after a gap of 34 years, Shri Bhandare praised the efforts of KIIT and NISER. The Rath will carry the message of science to the villages and create scientific temper among the common masses, he said.
Bigyan Rath will travel from the birthplace of Pathani Samanta (Khandapada) to the birthplace of P. K. Parija (Cuttack), two renowned scientists of the State, during its 20 days journey from 14th November to 3rd December 2011. It will cover more than 600 educational institutes (20 school colleges in each district) of Odisha, touching each and every individual, before reaching Ravenshaw University in Cuttack on 3rd December, 2011.
Bigyan Rath will also generate awareness on the Indian Science Congress and invite common masses in every district on behalf of Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS to join this mega scientific meet in KIIT. As a prelude to the 99th Indian Science Congress, KIIT is also organizing State and National level Essay and Quiz Competition. The winners of the State level essay & quiz competition will be awarded on 3rd December 2011.
Shri Bhartuhari Mahatab, MP, Cuttack, Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS, Dr. T. K. Chandrashekar, Director, NISER, Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, V.C. KIIT, Dr. R. N. Ray, Chairman, National Children’s Science Congress, Dr. A.K. Naik, Registrar, NISER & Local Secretary, 99th ISC and Shri Gobind Ch. Barik, Headmaster, Ramchandra High School also spoke on the occasion.
99th Indian Science Congress Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh Launches National-level Essay & Quiz Competitions at KIIT
Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences during his visit to KIIT on 19th October 2011 heaped a shower of praise on KIIT and its Founder, Dr. A. Samanta for the meticulous planning to hold the 99th Indian Science Congress in KIIT from 3-7 January 2012. Expressing his happiness, the Hon’ble Minister said that there could not be a better place than KIIT University to hold the 99th Indian Science Congress just a year before of its Centenary celebration.
The Hon’ble Minister came to KIIT to set the ball rolling for all competitions, in a programme which has been aptly named as ‘Igniting Sciential Atmosphere Before the 99th Indian Science Congress’. He had all the praise for the efforts of KIIT and said if the aim of science is to serve the society, then what better example is there than KISS which takes care 15,000 poorest of the poor tribal children. The Hon’ble Minister addressed the students of KIIT & KISS and expressed his happiness over the preparedness of KIIT to hold the 99th Indian Science Congress to be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Indian Science Congress established in 1914 with the objective of promoting and popularizing science has not achieved the desired object in full, despite a century old legacy. Though there have been several sessions in different parts of the country, yet it has not been able to bring every Indian child to be involved in the study of science.
Indian Science Congress has been organizing various competitions among the young scientists besides holding Children Science Congress as a component of it. Despite all the efforts, there is no mechanism till date to involve everyone in the country, and in the process, creating interest in the study of science particularly among the youth. With this background, KIIT’s initiative to involve every school and every college in the 99th Indian Science Congress is definitely praiseworthy.
KIIT has planned to organize an essay and quiz competition on subject related to science and society. The competition is planned to be held in two categories. Children from Class-8 to Class-12 will be placed in the junior category, whereas students from Class 12th to postgraduate level (M.A., M.Sc. etc.) have been placed in senior category. Each and every school, college and university has been informed and the final competition on the basis of the result of State-level competition will be held in KIIT
Prize money of Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh has been fixed for the senior and Rs. 4 lakh, Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh for junior category. Apart from the prize money, the best three winners in each category would be provided higher education in any branch of study in KIIT absolutely free. Even the state toppers will be awarded cash prizes and each finalist will get merit certificates. The total amount of the prize money and the expenditure of the studies is more than Rs. 1.5 crore. Incidentally, it is the biggest expenditure for popularizing science by any institute.
Though for a self financing Institute without getting any support or grant from any quarter organizing such an event and spending so much of money can never be an easy task. It may create some financial hardship for KIIT, but for the prestige of the state and to achieve the mission to popularize science, KIIT would never compromise and would try to do everything possible said Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS.
99th Indian Science Congress
ISCA Executive Council Meeting held at KIIT
Hectic preparations are underway at KIIT for the 99th Indian Science Congress, the greatest scientific extravaganza of the decade, to be held here from 3-7 January 2012. Meetings of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) Executive Committee and ISCA Council were held at KIIT from 12-15 October 2011 to take stock of the preparations. The high-level ISCA committee, led by Prof. Geetha Bali, General President and Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary to the Govt. of India, DST as the Prime Minister’s nominee, also held a series of meeting with KIIT officials, who made a presentation on the progress of work. They were highly satisfied with the preparations.
Selection of the awardees for the Young Scientists’ Programme, instituted by ISCA, was also done on the occasion. The annual award, which is conferred during the session of Indian Science Congress, felicitates young scientists and researchers below the age of 32. For the 99th Indian Science Congress, panel of experts selected 14 young scientists for the award after evaluating their research work and presentations.
The five-day scientific event, organized by KIIT in collaboration with NISER, is expected to be attended by over 18,000 delegates from India and abroad, including 20 Nobel Laureates. The Congress would be inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, who would visit again on the concluding day to take over as the president of the next Science Congress. For the first time, Children Science Congress and Women Science Congress would be held simultaneously with 99th ISC.
More than 100 representatives from ISCA attended the meeting. Prof. K. C. Pandey, Past General President, Dr. M. K. Chakrabarti, Dr. (Mrs.) V. L. Saxena, General Secretaries, Mr. N. B. Basu, Treasurer, Dr. A. K. Nayak, Registrar, NISER & Local Secretary, 99th ISC and Dr. Sasmita Samanta, Registrar, KIIT University & Local Secretary, 99th ISC were among those who were present.